ISLAMABAD - Federal Minister for Population Welfare Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan has urged the support of Ulema and religious scholars to create public awareness about birth spacing and population development and guidelines according to Islamic vision. We need to fine-tune our population policy and implementation within the teachings and guidelines of our given Islamic vision. Our Ulema and religious scholars are important segment of our society and they can play a pivotal role in social mobilization of the masses to promote family planning, the Minister said while addressing One Day National Seminar on Involvement of Religious Scholars in Population Welfare Programme here on Thursday. She said that it was needed to fill the gap between the Ministry and Ulema and to follow guidelines, which would be set by the religious scholars. We will constitute a committee which will consider the recommendations given by the Ulema and we will become a part of the manifesto of the Ministry, she said. Our religion has a holistic and all encompassing vision that virtually covers every aspect of family life including breast feeding, birth spacing, inter spousal relations and conduct of matrimonial life, she said. The Minister said that the government would give incentives to the citizens instead of imposing restrictions to control population. We have no objection if any family has 10 children and it can afford and provide them all the facilities. She said that the Prime Minister would make an announcement about the incentives on International Population Day on July 11. She said, There was a need to address the basic problems of health, education, unemployment and poverty and we have to work for their solution. She said that the government was trying to solve the big problem of terrorism, which was linked with these problems. We have to provide justice and equal division of resources to the people and we have to remove sense of deprivation in the society to curb terrorism in the country, she said. The Minister said that Pakistan was the 6th most populous country in the world. However, the demographic transition had started and the fertility indicators were showing a positive trend and the Population Growth Rate, which was over 3 per cent in the 1980s, had declined to 1.8 per cent. She warned that if the current population growth rate were not harnessed, the population of Pakistan would double in the next 39 years. Earlier, three groups of religious scholars from different schools of thought presented their recommendations for better family welfare programmes under guidelines of Islam. Sahabzada Muhammad Fazlur Rehman of Group-I, while presenting the recommendations said that there was a need to change the logo and title of family planning and to continue lasting relationship between the Ministry of Population Welfare (MoPW) and Ulema and at least one meeting should be held in a quarter of a year at all levels. He said his group recommended that MoPW literature should be published in all the regional languages. He said that a Coordination Committee should be formulated from all sects at all levels that should include renowned Ulema and academicians at federal, provincial, district, tehsil and union council levels. Mulana Afzal Haidri from Group-II said that the government should pay attention to the education of women and emphasized on mothers health and breastfeeding. Topics of family planning should be included in the curriculum of Madrassas, colleges and universities. It was essential to give preference to physical health of women and sex education according to Islam and its culture. Chairman Ruet-e-Hilal Committee Mufti Muneeb-ur-Rehman from Group-III said that low family literacy, feudalism, lack of investment on health gender discrimination against boys and girls and poor public sector facilities and others were the main obstacles to control the population of the country. He said that there was a need to expand religious and contemporary education focusing on religious rights of children, pregnant women, rights of wives and parents and to introduce social security system for the poor. Ensure breastfeeding through education based on scientific and religious precepts and propagate advantages of birth spacing on account of maternal and child and family health.